Saturday, June 20, 2009

"Cenotaphs for a new era" - Tom Oberg - 109 S. Cayuga

Two Glass cubes
h30" x 37" x 24"
h29.75" x 25.5" x 16"

Sculpture can be viewed as the total occupation of space. The two cubes
represent the spaces occupied by two very different men with two very
different views of the worlds they occupied.

On March 29, 1849 Henry "Box" Brown had a crate built and mailed himself
from Baltimore to Philadelphia. The trip took 27 hours; the crate measured
h30" x 37" x 24"

On October 12, 1969 Charles Manson was arrested at Barker Ranch in
Death Valley and charged with arson and grand theft auto. Manson was
found hiding inside a bathroom cabinet measuring h29.75" x 25.5" x 16".

Henry "Box" Brown, born into slavery in 1815, mailed himself across the
Mason-Dixon line to freedom in 1849. Brown escaped to England after the
Fugitive Act of 1850 became law. Brown became active in the Abolitionist
movements in both America and Britain, writing two versions of his
autobiography and exhibiting a moving panorama depicting the brutality of
slavery, titled "The Mirror of Slavery". Brown stayed on the British show
circuit for 25 years, until 1875, eventually returning to the U.S. with a
magic act.

*"... having been enabled to snap my chains and escape to a land of liberty
– I owe it as a sacred duty to the cause of humanity, that I should devote
my life to the redemption of my fellow men"*

Charles Manson, born November 1934, a career criminal whose criminal
record culminated in an infamous 1969 killing spree perpetrated by his
followers known as the Family. Manson, believing that the racial tensions
of the 1960sbetween blacks and whites would soon turn into open warfare,
began to plan the release of an album whose songs would trigger the
impending race war. Manson believed that upon hearing the lyrics, the
blacks would rise up and murder the whites. The blacks would triumph
but would need to be ruled by the Family, which would ride out the conflict
in "the bottomless pit", a secret city beneath Death Valley. Manson's
followers precipitated a series of gruesome murders to – in Manson's
words " ... show blackie how to do it".

Manson song title from the album* The Family Jams: "First They Made Me
Sleep in the Closet/I'm Scratchin' Peace Symbols on Your Tombstone".

1 comment:

  1. This was a bit eerie - putting this post up, all the Manson paragraphs were cut off on the right side and I had to reformat them all. The Brown paragraphs were fine even though they're interspersed. (Shudder.)